Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Scientific Proof! Reading fiction really is good for you!

I just thought I would share some fabulous news. New Scientist (28 June 2008 p.42) reports a study that confirms what we all suspected... reading fiction has psychological benefits. The study suggests that fiction acts as a kind of simulation of the complexities of social life, and by reading we gain greater empathy and better "interpersonal perception", and that these effects are immediate. The study doesn't discount that movies and games may also have these benefits.

If you have the time you can go to http://glennrowe.net/baroncohen/faces/eyestest.aspx and undertake the same test that participants in the study used to detemine their ability to read expressions.

Anyway, now we have an excuse for staying up late to read. It is preparing us for the social onslaught of the following day. Or is it just because I am the daughter of a scientist that I needed a study published in a peer reviewed journal before I could justify those late nights??

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